Why Pray

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.
— Ephesians 5:1-2

Watch what God does. Then do it.

You know what's hard? It's hard to watch God. He has a way of moving and doing without our attention or permission. He has a way of working in, through, and around us without us noticing or approving. He uses our lives as they weave and overlap into the lives of others to write the story of humanity. That phrase doesn't seem to apply during rush hour... or at family dinner after a long day, or when your kids refuse to clean their rooms, or really ever.

Sometimes the "weaving and overlapping" feels more like collisions and bruises. I always wanted to believe that at the end of the day, when everything hits the fan and we're left with what remains, humanity will choose to love and not hate (or at least be nice).

Unfortunately, the record shows otherwise.

In fact, it seems like many are actively looking for ways to cheat and violate people. But not you, right?

We are generally good people as Followers of Jesus. It doesn't take much to be kind, except for when someone betrays your trust. It doesn't take much to be honest, except when your livelihood is at stake. It doesn't take much to follow the 10 Commandments, except... it's impossible. No one perfectly loves God and loves people. It's simple: we need help. The truth is, we're always struggling to... Watch what God does. Then do it.

We pray because we absolutely need to. Prayer is a demand for grace. Prayer is a step in looking more like Jesus. A lifestyle of prayerlessness is a quiet rebellion against God which says, "I don't need you." The lie in our minds is that as we spend more time in the Faith, we'll grow less dependent on Jesus.

The proof that this is a lie is the "old you." You never used to look to Jesus for anything. You were actually hostile to God (Ephesians 2:16).

Jesus himself would "depart often to pray" (Mark 6:45-46). If the Creator of everything needed to pray, why wouldn't we pray? Watch what God does. Then do it.

Today, because of Jesus, you have constant access to a God who listens, who loves, who responds. Prayer is about connecting with a Father who loves us, not genie who makes us independent. When we pray how Jesus taught us, it makes us more dependent upon God (John 6:7-13). He gives you your breath in the morning, your food all day, your clothes, your home, your job, your family, your church, your very life - it's all in His capable hands. After you've prayed, watch what Jesus does.

Pray Like This

  1. UP | Look for God right where he is: on His throne, above it all. Focus your attention above your circumstances to where all power and authority comes from: Jesus (Colossians 3:1-2). Thank him, worship him.
  2. IN | Look for God right where he is: in your heart, the Holy Spirit. Remember the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is living inside your heart. Ask him to lead you, to correct you, to challenge you, to transform you.
  3. OUT | Look for God right where he is: everywhere you go. The whole earth is full of Jesus. Every where you go (yes, you), it's holy ground because God lives in you. Sometimes we just forget to take off our shoes. Ask Jesus to use you to bring Heaven to your world, your home, your job, your neighborhood.

In prayer, there is only gain. You lose nothing by giving Jesus everything. He will never let you down.